Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe pageant, weighed in this morning on the controversy surrounding Canadian transgender contestant Jenna Talackova (who ironically bears a striking resemblance to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, a completely irrelevant point we find kind of fascinating).
Talackova has recruited controversial celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred to pressure Trump into allowing transgender contestants from any participating country to compete in the pageant. Talackova, who had gender reassignment surgery at age 19, was initially chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition. However, she was disqualified last week because she was not a “naturally born female.”
Following a media frenzy, The Miss Universe Organization announced that Talackova could compete as long as she met the “legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.” Still, Talackova wants pageant officials to take more action.
Today, though, Trump took to the airwaves with Katie Couric while she guest-anchored on “Good Morning America.”
“I did not know that she had a lawyer and especially Gloria Allred,” Trump told Couric. “In fact, had I known it was Gloria Allred, I probably would not have reversed my decision because, you know, Gloria is easy to beat.”
Trump offered a few more words for Talackova, suggesting she spend more time focusing on winning and less on crusading for her cause.
“I think Jenna should focus on running up in Canada and seeing how she does in Canada and then, if she does well, she has a chance to become what many, many young women all over the world want to be and that’s Miss Universe,” Trump said.